Treasure of Sanbutsu-ji Temple

Mt. Mitoku Sanbutsu ji Temple

Wooden Standing Statue of Zao Gongen (Enshrined at the Inner Sanctuary)
Nationally Important Cultural Property This 116.4cm statue is Nageiredo Hall’s central figure. Using the yosegi-zukuri method, hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood was carved and gilded to form this statue. Zao is believed to be the guardian deity that guides Shugendo practitioners and conquers evil. When the statue was previously being repaired, a document was found inside the statue and was examined. It was revealed that the statue was made by Kokei (Unkei’s master) in 1168. A scientific investigation reached the same findings. * “Yosegi-zukuri” is a technique where several pieces of wood are carved separately before they are assembled together.
Prayer Scroll Written in Sumi Ink and made in the 3rd Year of Nin’an Era
This is a document found in 1921 inside the “Standing Statue of Zao Gongen” (Nageiredo’s central figure) when it was disassembled for repair. It states that the statue was made and offered in 1168. It also reveals that is was made by Unkei’s master, “Kokei”.
Wooden Standing Statues of Zao Gongen (7 Statues of Zao Avatar Enshrined at the Inner Sanctuary)
Six Zao Gongen statues are enshrined together with the central figure at Nageiredo Hall. All are Important Cultural Properties and are made from one piece of hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood. A recent scientific investigation concluded that the timber of one of the statues was felled in 1025, making it the oldest Zao Gongen statue. Since it is likely that the statue was made when Nageiredo Hall was founded, it indicates the time of the hall's establishment.
Parrot Patterned Bronze Mirror
Nationally Important Cultural Property Just as the name infers, this bronze mirror has 2 parrots drawn on the back. It is highly valued for its craftsmanship, marked for its exceptionally elaborate mandala and its inscription that indicates that this mirror was offered by a female priest called “Heizan, the Female Disciple” in 997. The mirror itself is believed to be made at the end of China’s Tang Dynasty and the mandala and writing were presumably inscribed after it was inherited. A recent investigation confirms that the mirror was offered by the empress consort of Japan’s Emperor En’yu and that mirrors with the same inscriptions exist in China and at Nara’s Shosoin Treasure House.
Wooden Standing Statue of Sho Kannon
Nationally Important Cultural Property This is the chief object of worship at Kannon-do Hall located along the ascetic trail from Hon-do Hall of Sanbutsu-ji Temple to Nageiredo Hall. It is 167cm tall and is made from one piece of hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood. It is not colored and both of its hands were replaced at a later date. According to folklore, this is an eleven-headed Kannon, however, the additional heads of the transformed Buddha are missing. Based on its intricate features, it is presumed that the statue was made at the end of Heian Period.
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